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  • I'm joined today by the chief executive of the N HS, Simon Stevens on the Deputy Chief Medical Officer Jenny Harris.

  • I'd like to update you all on the fax on the spread off covered 19 on the steps that we're taking in the battle against the Corona virus.

  • 113,777 people have now being tested for the virus off Those 14,543 have tested positive, an increase in the last day off 2885.

  • The best scientific analysis now is that the rate of infection has bean doubling every 3 to 4 days on off.

  • Those who have contracted the virus 759 have sadly died our thoughts and prayers over the families of those who have passed away.

  • These figures are a powerful reminder of the need for all of us to act.

  • We needed to slow the spread of the virus and strengthen the any.

  • Chess is ability to protect us all.

  • Strict social distancing measures have been put in place to restrict the spread off covered 19 so fewer people should need hospital treatment at any one time the measures that we've put in place for the scientific and medical advice and are designed to reduce the rate of infection and as well as acting to slow the spread of the virus.

  • We're also acting to strengthen the N H s.

  • We're expanding the number of beds available for new patients.

  • We're increasing the number of staff in our hospitals, and we're also investing in lifesaving equipment for those with severe symptoms to give people the care they need when they need it most.

  • I'd like to thank all those involved in this effort to reinforce the front line in the battle against the virus, the military personnel were helping to fit out a new hospital in East London on door, helping to distribute personal protective equipment the amazing doctors, nurses and support staff in our n hs, those in manufacturing who've risen to the challenge of producing new ventilators on the hundreds of thousands who volunteered to help in innumerable ways, This is a united national effort on the spirit off selflessness shown by so many is truly inspiring.

  • And this voice, of course, affect us all.

  • As you're no doubt already aware, the prime minister has Corona virus on his self isolating at home in Downing Street.

  • He began experiencing mild symptoms yesterday afternoon on was tested on the advice of England's chief medical officer, Professor Chris Witty.

  • The Prime Mister is continuing to lead the government's response to Corona virus, chairing meetings on communicating with key members off his team through video conferencing.

  • And earlier today, the Prime Mister led the effort in launching our latest front in the fight against Covered 19.

  • Today I can announce that the prime minister has brought together businesses, research institutes and universities in a new alliance to boost testing capacity for frontline workers.

  • Increasing our testing capacity is absolutely crucial in our response to on our fight against Corona virus.

  • This is a particular priority for those who work in the health and social care sector on are working so hard to keep us all safe?

  • This will be Auntie Jen testing, testing whether people currently have the disease so that our health and social care workers can have security in the knowledge that they're safe to return to work.

  • If the test is negative, these tests will be trialed for people on the front line starting immediately with hundreds of take place by the end of the weekend, dramatically scaling up next week.

  • And, of course, protecting our frontline workers is at the forefront of everyone's minds.

  • At the moment last night, millions of people paid a fantastic tribute to the heroes and heroines of the energy.

  • Yes, when he stepped outside their front doors and clapped our cares and alongside those in health and social care.

  • I also want to thank those who work in food production and retail.

  • Those who work for the Royal Mail on public transport, our teachers and our social workers.

  • They all deserve our gratitude.

  • Are having talked to trade union and business leaders, civil servants and public spirited volunteers and, of course, ministers in the devolved administrations in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland in recent days.

  • I want to record my admiration for the national solidarity being shown in the fight against this disease.

  • All of us can support our N hs by continuing to follow the guidance to stay at home, to protect our any chess and to save lives.

  • I will now turn to the chief executive of the N.

  • H s Simon Stevens sign.

  • Thank you, Michael.

  • Today, over 6200 confirmed positive Corona virus patients are in hospital across England, and we know that number is only bound to rise over the coming days.

  • That's why, as Michael says, it is so important that everybody follows the medical advice to stay at home and in so doing, save lives.

  • But it's also why the N.

  • H.

  • S is making an extraordinary effort right across this country to ensure that we have care for those patients who need the looking after from Corona virus.

  • That's why any chest are for pulling out all the stops in an unprecedented response to this global health emergency.

  • As off today across England, we have reconfigured hospital service is so that 33,000 hospital beds are available to treat further Corona virus patients.

  • It's also why we are taking the extraordinary action to build new hospitals in very short order, starting with the HSE Nightingale Hospital in East London and today, because this is a problem, of course, not just confined to London, but across the whole country.

  • I have given the go ahead to the building off to further off these n hs Nightingale hospitals beginning the Birmingham National Exhibition Center on Dhe, the Manchester Central Convention Center, with further such hospitals to follow.

  • In doing that, I obviously want to pay tribute to the contribution not just off managers staff, but the support that we're getting from volunteers from the armed forces, from social care from all of our partners.

  • It is remarkable.

  • I think, that in just the last two weeks we've seen 18,000 doctors and nurses returned to practice on the General Medical Council, and the Nursing Medical Council registers answering the call to arms on dhe.

  • It was therefore very gratifying for our staff across the N hs to see this remarkable act pouring in the clap for carers last night.

  • For many nurses coming home from a day at hospital or for other staff returning to start again for the night shift, it will have meant an enormous amount to know that the whole country is behind them.

  • But the best way we can show that support, of course, is actually by doing what it will take to reduce the rate of infection, because even simple actions following this advice will save lives.

  • Thank you very much, Simon, I'll now turn to the media to take questions.

  • I think our first question is from Vicky Young off the BBC.

  • Vicky, Mr.

  • Goba, the Prime Minister has Corona virus at the Health Secretary.

  • Does as well.

  • The chief medical officer is in isolation.

  • People will be looking at this and maybe wondering whether you haven't been taking your own advice or you may be acted too slowly.

  • But when it came to stopping the spread of Corona virus another question, please.

  • To Sir Simon Stevens.

  • We've had cancer patients getting in touch with the BBC today, very worried about the cancellation or postponement of their treatment or operations.

  • Many of them worried that their own lives maybe being put at risk on a question for Dr Harris if I could.

  • Can you be more precise about the peak off this outbreak?

  • Well, thank you, Viki.

  • L turned Thio Simon to Jenny in a second.

  • I think the fact that both the prime minister on dhe, the health Secretary, have contracted the virus is a reminder that the virus does not discriminate.

  • We are all at risk.

  • And that is why it is so important that we practice social distancing measures those are in place in government.

  • Ministers are working remotely and from home using videoconferencing in order to make sure that we can follow the strict advice that all of us should be following in order to help to protect the N.

  • H s son.

  • On the question of cancer care, we've been clear that we do want essential on urgent cancer treatments to continue, but that cancer specialists should have the opportunity with their patients to decide whether it is more risky for somebody to embark on treatment at this particular time.

  • Given that you are more vulnerable to infection if you begin a course of treatment, perhaps chemo or become immuno compromised as a result, so those clinical decisions that will need to be taken.

  • We've also agreed a landmark deal with all of the independent hospitals across the country, which has given us the ability to look after patients away from the busy hospitals that are treating a corona virus.

  • On DDE in London, for example, the Royal Marsden is therefore coordinating cancer care right across the capital so that even if patients aren't being looked after their local hospital, they will be getting the care they need.

  • But these are very difficult and sensitive judgments that need to be made with the full involvement off cancer clinicians as well as patients.

  • Thank you.

  • I'm good, Thank you.

  • Yes, I'm going to be a little bit repetitive.

  • The same question, I think, was asked yesterday from a different media colleague.

  • It would be very foolish of me, I think, to predict precisely when we expect the peak to be, not least because we have put in social distancing interventions and we are looking to see how well they work.

  • As I said yesterday, there's some early indication that the public are really now heeding that advice and we thank them for that.

  • It's really important that they continue to do that.

  • We do not expect to see a significant change in our numbers for two or three weeks, and so we really need people to stick with us and stick to those social distancing interventions for that period.

  • We are, of course, monitoring that day to daily on.

  • We will obviously put when we've got a firm prediction that will be happy to share that with you.

  • Thank you.

  • Thank you.

  • Thank you.

  • All know, turn to call didn't of ITV.

  • Thank you, Mr Globe.

  • Obviously, it's good news that we've heard that the prime minister he's only experiencing mild symptoms.

  • But I would liketo what is the plan?

  • Shoot the prime minister, not be able to putting this work on.

  • Also, given that there does seem to be a limit to the number of tests that could be done, what is the system for testing people like yourselves at the top of government who are dealing with this crisis we'll call the Prime Mister has only mild symptoms.

  • Hey, to part in hey, chaired a video conference earlier today on he was able to marshal the resources of the N HS and different government departments on deed of the private sector in order to bring forward the testing initiative that we've announced today.

  • But all handed Jenny, it's a little bit more about the testing protocols that guide the way in which people are tested and a little bit.

  • Then I'll turn to Simon.

  • Forgive me to say a little bit more about our ambitions to support frontline any chest staff with the extension off testing.

  • So, Jenny first thank you so much as a stated previously.

  • The primary objective of all of our testing is to ensure that we manage clinical cases safely.

  • So those patients who are admitted to intensive care with acute respiratory disease syndrome or with pneumonia are the ones we're focusing on.

  • Onda gain for other admissions into hospitals.

  • With those conditions, we test routinely in some other very specific areas.

  • So care homes, for example, where we know that there are critical patients at risk at high risk on where there is a higher risk of disease spread.

  • The basis of all of this is, firstly that you must have clinical symptoms.

  • The default position without that is you would not be tested on then.

  • The only other criteria would be the centrality of your role to the cove it 19 response on DDE.

  • In this particular case, I'm sure your viewers will understand that the prime minister plays a very critical role in that on that's the basis for our testing.

  • Thanks, Jenny.

  • Some Well, from a known hs perspective, we think it is urgently important that we're able to test frontline staff who are off sick or otherwise isolating on DDE.

  • That's why I work the public health England has Bean leading is so important because it means that we're going to be able to double by this time next week.

  • The number of tests compared toe the number that we've been doing this week on Dhe.

  • So I can say that today we're announcing that we will be rolling out staff testing across the N H s beginning next week, starting with the critical care nurses.

  • Other staff in intensive care emergency departments.

  • Ambulance service is GPS on.

  • As the testing volumes continue to increase, we want to expand that to a wider range.

  • Off essential public service workers, including our social care service, is as well as, of course, continuing with the patient testing, which is so vital.

  • Thank you.

  • So will they turn to Beth Rigby from Sky?

  • Hi.

  • Hi.

  • Can you hear me?

  • Sorry.

  • You mister go.

  • Just a couple of questions, please.

  • Mr.

  • Gave you say the prime minister in the health Secretary.

  • Getting the virus shows it doesn't discriminate.

  • Unfortunately, they only have mild symptoms.

  • But you can't guarantee that they won't become more pool poorly at the very moment that the country in the N.

  • H s Mason lead that needs them to lead lots of people watching.

  • This will be asking why the prime minister, the health secretary and now the chief medical officer weren't better protected.

  • Isn't this at best?

  • Careless and at worst, negligent Onto Simon Stevens?

  • A couple questions, If I may, the new London hospital have 500 intensive care beds by next week.

  • How much spare capacity is there in London's critical care beds today?

  • How do you expect that to change over the weekend?

  • And do you anticipate you'll be over capacity by next week?

  • And just on the test in an an an itch staff Great news that you're going to roll out testing.

  • But how many N.

  • H.

  • S staff currently unable to work?

  • Because they're either unwell or self isolating.

  • Thank you.

  • Thank you, Beth.

  • The the fact that the virus is no respecter of individuals, whoever they are eyes one of the reasons why we do need tohave strict social distancing measures so that we can reduce the rate of infection on reduce the pressure on the any chest, be in various estimates about the number of people in any country who may become infected Over time, we aim to as the Prime Minister himself has pointed out flat on the curve, reduce the rate of reinfection in order to ensure that the N h s can be protected on dhe.

  • I think that many people were effect on the fact that the prime Minister succumbing to the virus is reminder of how seriously we all need to take the advice that the N hs has been giving us.

  • Simon.

  • Thank you.

  • Yes.

  • So, on the question of London hospital beds as off yesterday, the most recent figures we had just under 3000 empty and available hospital beds across London.

  • Ondas, you say?

  • Beth, we are bringing on additional beds next week at the New and Adjust Nightingale Hospital that is being configured initially to be ableto look after up to 500 patients.

  • But there is the physical capacity toe potentially take that to up to 4000 if it were required.

  • So there is obviously an enormous effort going on, not just across London but across the Midlands, A swell where we're seeing continued growth in cases.

  • And that's why, as well as freeing up the 33,000 hospital beds across our current English N Hs hospitals were also taking these unprecedented steps to build in a few days.

  • Hospitals that would normally take years, Thank you very much, and we'll turn now to Andrew Woodcock from the Independent Mr Grove.

  • There are large numbers of people around the UK who are reliant through distribution through food, banks and other charitable efforts.

  • These charities, they're still working, but many food banks have closed and donations are down.

  • Many vote volunteers over 70 and they've been advised to stay home.

  • The Independence Launching a help.

  • The hungry appeal to support the London Food Alliance that doesn't need right across the country.

  • The government says it's supporting all sections of society through this crisis.

  • So is there going to be financial and logistical support for these charities?

  • Are any of the 700,000 people who volunteered to help the N hs being committed to this effort on DSA?

  • Simon Stevens.

  • Could I ask him You've been head of the nightdress since 2013?

  • Do you regret the bed reductions and the failure to increase nurse training numbers during your tenure, which have left the N.

  • H.

  • S in a position where entered this crisis with its critical pair bed base amongst the worst in Europe with Italy, for example, having twice as many I seeyou beds on the UK having the lowest number of nurses and doctors per head amongst developed nations, according to the D.

  • C.

  • D.

  • Isn't the lesson from this crisis that the end it just needs more capacity of A LL times If it's going to be ready to deal with this kind of surge in demand and it can't be made to operate with no slackers, it has been under your watch.

  • Andrew, thank you for these questions on food, on helping the vulnerable.

  • Let me say a few things.

  • The first thing is, I want to thank all those who work in preproduction and in our supermarkets for rising to the challenge of making sure that our shelves could be refilled on that people who need it are able to get the food that they need.

  • Of course, we need more than simply to have an effective food production chain.

  • We need to make sure that those most in need those who are self isolating get the food and the other support that they need.

  • That's why the any chess has identified upto 1.5 million people who are shielded, who've been advised to self isolate for 12 weeks.

  • And it's why government departments working together are ensuring that there will be food distributed direct to those individuals with community pharmacies also providing the prescription medicines that they need.

  • Now there are people beyond that 1.5 million who are not self isolating for 12 weeks, but who are vulnerable people who in the past have used food banks, people whom we need to sport now.

  • And it is the case that the volunteer networks that have been set up across the country are ensuring that we can match.

  • Volunteers were willing to go shopping and the hand food to those vulnerable people who are staying at home or who may not themselves have the social networks to get the food that they need.

  • And, of course, the tremendous response to the Good Sam initiative that Matt Hancock announced earlier this week with hundreds of thousands of people stepping up is amazing example off voluntarism, inaction on national solidarity and we will be doing everything we can to support them on my colleague.

  • All of a doubt in the Department of Culture, Media and Sport is looking at a specific fund in order to support charities in the work that they do on.

  • We'll be seeing Maura about this in the days to come.

  • I also want to thank those people in the hospitality and catering sector who have stepped up on doing everything they can to support the vulnerable.

  • John Vincent of Leon is making sure that his stores remain open as takeaways in order to support wth e n hs at that sort of collaboration between citizens, the voluntary sector backing from government and enlightened business people that I think will help us to beat this virus on.

  • I'm grateful to you for the opportunity to thank all those who are making that contribution on the hand of a designer.

  • Thank you.

  • So the N H s does need more staff, and it does need mawr hospital beds on.

  • We've bean saying that for some time on DDE that is what's going to be happening over the next five in the next 10 years.

  • But the reality is that what I've described is that over the last several weeks we have freed up the equivalent off 50 hospitals across England, ready and waiting for Corona virus patients.

  • Under normal circumstances, you would not keep 50 hospitals fully staffed with nurses, and doctors are not actually looking after patients, which is why no health service in the world anywhere in Europe anywhere internationally would be able to withstand a Corona virus epidemic unless the sort of measures that the public are also involved with are also put into place.

  • And that's why it's so important that the public support the work of our very pressurized frontline nurses, doctors, therapists and other staff across the energy s by staying at home and in so doing, saving lives.

  • Thank you.

  • And we'll turn now to Tim Ross from Bloomberg.

  • Thank you, Michael.

  • Go, we were told before the decision was taken on Monday to impose much stricter rules on people's movements, that that decision would be based rigorously on the data around footfall on public activity and transport.

  • Yet despite asking every day this week, the government has not so far provided any off that data to justify the most sweeping restrictions on the population the country has ever seen.

  • Will you promise now to publish that data?

  • Could you explain why it hasn't been published so far.

  • Uh, to see Simon Stevens, can you guarantee that the N hs is ready for what's about to come on?